United’s Opening Day Premier League Results (Part 2/2)

Of course this weekend Manchester United are scheduled to face West Brom in our opening Premier League fixture of the new season. With that in mind, it’s worth looking back at how United have got on, on opening-day Premier League history.

After an earlier article looking back on how United got on in their first 10 opening-day fixtures in the Premier League, here’s how United have got on in their last 9 opening-day games in the league.

2002/03 – United 1 West Brom 0

After losing the title the previous season to Arsenal and with only Rio Ferdinand signed prior to the start of the season, United fans perhaps would not have been blamed for being pessimistic about whether they could regain the title. In an nervy encounter at Old Trafford a late goal from Ole Gunnar Solksjaer proved the difference as Albion made life difficult in their maiden Premier League fixture.

2003/04 – United 4 Bolton 0

David Beckham might have left to join Real Madrid in the summer of 2003, but immediately Old Trafford had a new number 7 to adore. His name was Cristiano Ronaldo and on debut, he dazzled in a 30 minute cameo of the bench. United already 1-0 up following a Ryan Giggs free-kick turned on the style after half-time. Despite Ruud van Nistelrooy missing a penalty which Ronaldo won, goals from Giggs, Scholes put us 3 up before the Dutchman scored from close range late on.

2004/05 – Chelsea 1 United 0

There was a sense of predictability about this one as it was Jose Mourinho’s first game in charge of Chelsea. Jose of course had knocked us out of the Champions League the previous season en route to winning the trophy with FC Porto. Sadly a make-shift United team could not keep up with the Blues who after taking the lead with an Eidur Gudjohnsen goal never let their grip of the game.

2005/06 – Everton 0 United 2

In an early kick-off United went top of the Premier League briefly with a solid win at Goodison Park. After van Nistelrooy went close twice early on, he put us in the lead two minutes of time with a neat finish from a John O’Shea cross. Amazingly barley 30 seconds after the restart the lead was doubled with Wayne Rooney scoring on his old stomping ground after he was presented with a chance inside the box after Joseph Yobo carelessly slid the ball across the area.

2006/07 – United 5 Fulham 1

Ronaldo and Rooney had made controversy at the World Cup in Germany. On their first game after the tournament, the two combined brilliantly to kill Fulham off as United surged into a 4-0 lead after only 17 minutes. A header by Louis Saha got us off to a great start before Rooney scored from close range. Ronaldo powered in a Rooney cross for the third before Ian Pearce scored an own goal. Heidar Helguson’s shot deflected in off Rio Ferdinand before Rooney completed the scoring after half-time.

2007/08 – United 0 Reading 0

It’s not often that visiting teams come to Old Trafford and tactically outsmart us to get a point, but that’s exactly what Steve Coppell masterminded as United failed to break down his Reading side. In a game of limited chances, Giggs had our best opportunity of the game hitting the post inside the area. Losing Rooney through injury after half-time hurt us and O’Shea comically had to play up front. Even despite Reading going down to 10 men thanks to Dave Kitson’s late sending-off, they held out much to the delight of their travelling support.  

2008/09- United 1 Newcastle 1

A year on after Reading frustrated the Old Trafford crowd; Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle did the same. At least the Magpies tried to win the game and went ahead when Obafemi Martins leapt well from a corner to head home. The lead didn’t last long though as Darren Fletcher finished well from a Ryan Giggs cross. Shay Given kept his team in the game after that and made some splendid saves from Fletcher and Frazier Campbell. It Didn’t matter in the long run though as United won the league and Newcastle suffered relegation that season.

2009/10 – United 1 Birmingham City 0

Newly promoted Birmingham made United work hard for the three points as a first-half Rooney goal was the difference between the sides.  Joe Hart though impressed on his debut on-loan for City and made several smart saves to keep his new team in the game. Rooney struck 10 minutes before the interval when he tapped the ball home after seeing a header come of the woodwork. Ben Foster made a good save to deny Chucho Benitez before Michael Owen wasted a chance in injury-time.

2010/11 – United 3 Newcastle 0

Goals from Dimitar Berbatov, Fletcher and Giggs secured a comfortable win for United over the newly promoted Magpies on a rare Monday-night season opener at Old Trafford. Despite not getting on the score-sheet Paul Scholes was the star of the night and was easily the man of the match. He rolled back the years with two beautiful passes to set Berbatov and Giggs up for their goals. Between those goals Fletcher scored our second from close range when he scuffled in Patrice Evra’s cross to seal the game just before half-time.

By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87